Author Topic: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33, UPDATE #133  (Read 14643 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #120 on: February 25, 2014, 04:33:58 PM »
I think you are missing the point some of us are making.  The point of the meeting is not free food.  The point of the meeting is to accomplish the agenda, which seems to be to get the pulse of the organization.  Big Boss and Boss are necessary components to accomplish the agenda.  I think anyone can look forward to anything for any reason, but to be outwardly upset about having the *meeting* rescheduled because you are missing the free lunch indicates a lack of awareness of the purpose of the gathering.

The bolded made me think that perhaps even the reaction of people to the meeting/lunch being canceled would be of interest to the bosses. I don't mean that like, "You should know, your employees are a bunch of babies!" or anything like that. I don't even think there's really any practical way to convey the reactions to the bosses. In the actual scenario it seems like the OP only saw the reactions of a very small number of people; but, in a hypothetical situation, it might be valuable information to know that a lot of employees were put off by the sudden change in lunch plans. For example, the cafeteria might be provided as a perk/inducement to work there, but if the food is too expensive or too unhealthy, and that drives employees to not eat there, so that they go outside to seek lunch when lunch plans are canceled, with the resulting loss in productivity and morale, that might be something management is interested in knowing.

Makes me think of the scenario from where I work, which I might have mentioned already (there have been a lot of work food threads lately)--every couple of weeks there was a free pizza lunch while employees met with a guest speaker. Hey, great, it's free, right? But after a while attendance started dropping off--so awkward to be sitting in a room with three people, six boxes of pizza, and a guest. Turned out that this was too much pizza for some people, or they didn't like pizza at all, so they stopped coming. I guess no one wanted to say that was the reason because they didn't want to be labeled a "whiner" who complained about free food. But when people were asked directly several gave that as the reason. So the organizers started mixing it up with sandwiches and salads, and attendance came back up.

How do you know about the quality of food in this cafeteria?  It might be stellar.  I don't see where food preferences or choices (actual or hypothetical) have anything to do with the issue/topic.

Some people have suggested the action was rude because it caused a hardship of X, Y, or Z. I find myself leaning more towards the position that the action was a business decision and thus rude/polite is not applicable. However, I don't think that means those who complain about the decision are rude, either. Business decisions have consequences. If those consequences are too great, the business will suffer. In my pizza example, people probably thought it would be seen as rude to complain about the free food, so they kept quiet and instead "business" suffered. In the OP's situation, if people feel the business decision resulted in a hardship for them, perhaps that's something the company would like to know about, as feedback on their decision. Politely worded, of course. The cafeteria comes into it because the company might think the cafeteria provides a satisfying meal for most employees, but it seems like at least two employees (mentioned in the OP) find it doesn't work for them. If a large portion of employees feel the same way, then the cafeteria isn't doing its intended job, and that might also be something the company would like to know.

It's another way to think about the situation. If business decision = not rude, then providing feedback about business decision = not rude either, at least in my mind. I apologize for not making that connection more clear. :)
~Lynn2000

veronaz

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #121 on: February 25, 2014, 04:40:28 PM »
I think you are missing the point some of us are making.  The point of the meeting is not free food.  The point of the meeting is to accomplish the agenda, which seems to be to get the pulse of the organization.  Big Boss and Boss are necessary components to accomplish the agenda.  I think anyone can look forward to anything for any reason, but to be outwardly upset about having the *meeting* rescheduled because you are missing the free lunch indicates a lack of awareness of the purpose of the gathering.

The bolded made me think that perhaps even the reaction of people to the meeting/lunch being canceled would be of interest to the bosses. I don't mean that like, "You should know, your employees are a bunch of babies!" or anything like that. I don't even think there's really any practical way to convey the reactions to the bosses. In the actual scenario it seems like the OP only saw the reactions of a very small number of people; but, in a hypothetical situation, it might be valuable information to know that a lot of employees were put off by the sudden change in lunch plans. For example, the cafeteria might be provided as a perk/inducement to work there, but if the food is too expensive or too unhealthy, and that drives employees to not eat there, so that they go outside to seek lunch when lunch plans are canceled, with the resulting loss in productivity and morale, that might be something management is interested in knowing.

Makes me think of the scenario from where I work, which I might have mentioned already (there have been a lot of work food threads lately)--every couple of weeks there was a free pizza lunch while employees met with a guest speaker. Hey, great, it's free, right? But after a while attendance started dropping off--so awkward to be sitting in a room with three people, six boxes of pizza, and a guest. Turned out that this was too much pizza for some people, or they didn't like pizza at all, so they stopped coming. I guess no one wanted to say that was the reason because they didn't want to be labeled a "whiner" who complained about free food. But when people were asked directly several gave that as the reason. So the organizers started mixing it up with sandwiches and salads, and attendance came back up.

How do you know about the quality of food in this cafeteria?  It might be stellar.  I don't see where food preferences or choices (actual or hypothetical) have anything to do with the issue/topic.

Lynn2000 did not claim to know the quality of the cafeteria food. In fact, she meticulously qualified her statements, as bolded above. She simply proposed a hypothetical scenario where the quality or expense of the cafeteria food might discourage employees from using the cafeteria and that information, if true, might be of interest to management.

There are many "mights" and hypotheticals which could be injected into this situation - in fact that has happened more than enough throughout the thread.

OP stated she usually gets something from the cafeteria and eats at her desk, so I'm guessing the food is not terrible.  I still don't see where food quality and preferences are relevant to the issue of boss's perceived rudeness.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 06:12:17 PM by veronaz »

perpetua

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #122 on: February 25, 2014, 04:42:50 PM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

EllenS

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #123 on: February 25, 2014, 05:19:36 PM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

Good catch. I just hope the people who are complaining are not overheard by Boss and BigBoss. I don't know about other work cultures, but where I am from, that sort of unprofessional attitude puts you at the top of the "dispensable" list.

dirtyweasel

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #124 on: February 25, 2014, 07:03:21 PM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

That's a good point, but I think what some people - myself included - feel is that it's still rude because it was cancelled very late which prevented people from being able to bring lunches from home.  To me, the situation wouldn't even out in the end because buying a lunch and bringing a lunch from home don't cost the same since it's usually more expensive to eat out than it is to make your own lunch.  If everyone had had enough notice then people could have brought their own lunch therefore saving a few dollars.  They may get a free lunch later, but that doesn't negate the fact that they still had to spend more money because the meeting was cancelled so late.   



Bramble

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #125 on: February 25, 2014, 08:38:17 PM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

Except they did plan.  They planned on lunch being provided.  After it was no longer provided they had to change their lunch plans on short notice.  You can't fault someone for not planning for an unlikely occurrence.  Now if lunch cancellations start to happen on a semi-frequent basis, you could say that they should have foreseen it happening and planned for an alternative lunch.

lollylegs

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #126 on: February 25, 2014, 08:47:37 PM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

Except they did plan.  They planned on lunch being provided.  After it was no longer provided they had to change their lunch plans on short notice.  You can't fault someone for not planning for an unlikely occurrence.  Now if lunch cancellations start to happen on a semi-frequent basis, you could say that they should have foreseen it happening and planned for an alternative lunch.

Exactly.

If I rely on the bus to get to work and one morning my service is cancelled and I have to scramble to find a way to get to work, that's not failure to plan on my behalf.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #127 on: February 25, 2014, 09:03:29 PM »
Yeah, if this happened to me at work I'd be in a situation.  First of all, I only take one break in a day...lunch which is half an hour.  I bring my lunch as I work in an industrial area there are no food places...there isn't even a convenience store or anything, within walking distance. I don't have a vehicle so I can't drive anywhere so that means that if a lunch were offered, and I didn't bring lunch that day and it was cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute, I'd be pretty much screwed. Did I mention I work 10-hour days?  That makes for a long, long day without a meal, since I wouldn't have had a chance to eat anything since breakfast. None of those things constitute a failure to plan.

Rude to reschedule the lunch?  I don't know about rude, but it was definitely inconsiderate.
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perpetua

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #128 on: February 26, 2014, 03:22:16 AM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

Except they did plan.  They planned on lunch being provided.  After it was no longer provided they had to change their lunch plans on short notice.  You can't fault someone for not planning for an unlikely occurrence.  Now if lunch cancellations start to happen on a semi-frequent basis, you could say that they should have foreseen it happening and planned for an alternative lunch.

I think you sometimes can actually, because unforeseen things happen. If you don't routinely carry a couple of pounds in your purse in case of emergencies, I don't think you can complain when an emergency arises and you don't have the means to deal with it because you haven't adequately planned.

Not that I think not having lunch is an 'emergency', but you know what I mean.

perpetua

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #129 on: February 26, 2014, 03:26:24 AM »
Something has just occurred to me, so I reread the OP.

The lunch wasn't cancelled. It was rescheduled. So, the workers are still getting a free lunch, just not when they thought they would.

That makes the complaining about it even more inappropriate, IMO. The money they may have had to spend on lunch today will be saved when the lunch is rescheduled because they won't have to make/buy lunch that day, so it all evens out, so the 'this is going to cause financial hardship for people' is largely moot. The only people this will affect therefore are those who haven't got cash for lunch on the day of the original postponement, and that falls firmly under 'failure to plan on your part...' for me.

That's a good point, but I think what some people - myself included - feel is that it's still rude because it was cancelled very late which prevented people from being able to bring lunches from home.  To me, the situation wouldn't even out in the end because buying a lunch and bringing a lunch from home don't cost the same since it's usually more expensive to eat out than it is to make your own lunch. If everyone had had enough notice then people could have brought their own lunch therefore saving a few dollars.  They may get a free lunch later, but that doesn't negate the fact that they still had to spend more money because the meeting was cancelled so late.   

Well, presumably Boss didn't know she was going to be sick until the morning she called in, so how could they have had any more notice than they did? These things happen, and I'm sure Boss did the best she could.

I really do think it's expecting too much to know if someone might have to make lunch at home vs buying something very cheap. If someone's budget is so tight that the difference between making a sandwich and buying perhaps a portion of chips from a staff canteen (which would probably cost about 1.50, I reckon) is going to break them financially, that's so extreme that it really isn't the employer's problem and you can't honestly expect them to take that eventuality into account when making a business decision.

nayberry

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #130 on: February 26, 2014, 09:24:00 AM »
every time i've been told there is going to be lunch provided i bring an emergency lunch, ramen noodles or porridge (which i normally have a couple of spares in my desk anyway). 

big boss made the decision to postpone the lunch until boss was back in, thats business, not rude or impolite.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #131 on: February 26, 2014, 10:22:38 AM »
Yeah, if this happened to me at work I'd be in a situation.  First of all, I only take one break in a day...lunch which is half an hour.  I bring my lunch as I work in an industrial area there are no food places...there isn't even a convenience store or anything, within walking distance. I don't have a vehicle so I can't drive anywhere so that means that if a lunch were offered, and I didn't bring lunch that day and it was cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute, I'd be pretty much screwed. Did I mention I work 10-hour days?  That makes for a long, long day without a meal, since I wouldn't have had a chance to eat anything since breakfast. None of those things constitute a failure to plan.

Rude to reschedule the lunch?  I don't know about rude, but it was definitely inconsiderate.

I would agree with you that in your environment where getting an alternative is almost impossible that it would be rude to same day cancel a planned lunch.

However, it sounds like in this situation there is an onsite cafeteria. Maybe not someone's first, second, or 10th choice for lunch, but it is an option. And the OP even mentioned another person feeling it was a hassle to need to go out for their lunch so there is obviously dining options that are within a reasonable distance.

We can all come up with examples of when same day cancellation would be rude. But in this instance there is nothing in the OP to state that anyone was put into financial difficulty or had to go without eating because of the cancellation.

auntmeegs

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #132 on: February 26, 2014, 12:48:04 PM »
Yeah, if this happened to me at work I'd be in a situation.  First of all, I only take one break in a day...lunch which is half an hour.  I bring my lunch as I work in an industrial area there are no food places...there isn't even a convenience store or anything, within walking distance. I don't have a vehicle so I can't drive anywhere so that means that if a lunch were offered, and I didn't bring lunch that day and it was cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute, I'd be pretty much screwed. Did I mention I work 10-hour days?  That makes for a long, long day without a meal, since I wouldn't have had a chance to eat anything since breakfast. None of those things constitute a failure to plan.
Rude to reschedule the lunch?  I don't know about rude, but it was definitely inconsiderate.

I don't know, I actually think they do.  Proper planning, IMO, would mean having an emergency lunch of canned soup or ramen or a frozen entre (if there is a fridge in your office).   

POF

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Re: Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33
« Reply #133 on: February 26, 2014, 12:56:32 PM »
I keep a small jar of peanut butter and some crackers in my desk. Works for me.  I'm a senior director and I can't tell you the times that I don't get to eat because I am called to meetings or stuck somewhere.  Are my bosses rude.... nope.... I need to eat, I plan accordingly.

jpcher

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Is this rude or the right thing to do? OP #33, UPDATE #133
« Reply #134 on: March 19, 2014, 07:09:08 PM »
UPDATE:

In the past month, the lunch has been rescheduled twice already. For the two other rescheduling we were given 2-3 days notice. Lunch is suppose to happen this coming Friday.

In the mean time I just thought I'd let you all know what happened a couple of weeks ago . . .

I got to my desk one morning and found 3 lunch tickets for our cafeteria (worth $7.50 each). Everybody got them from Boss. The reason slot was filled out as "Employee Appreciation." I've received 2 of these tickets last year with the reasons being "extra OT" and "excellent work on X project." Don't know/care how many tickets other's have received in the past.

I have no clue if these tickets were passed out due to the rescheduled lunch . . . I think it's more due to the very poor across-the-company raises we received.  ::)

But I certainly hope that it squelches further complaints.



Even so, I do think I agree with those that said it was a bit inconsiderate (not rude) for canceling the lunch on that day at such short notice. But I also agree with the "pull up your big girl panties" and deal with it thoughts. I don't think we'll ever come to full agreement on this situation. ;)